It is cheer excitement as the football family eagerly await the kick of the first ball at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament starting this afternoon in Russia.
Amidst fear of political boycott and security concerns, all the nations that qualified and their supporters have all landed here in Russia, waiting to digest the drama and suspense the world’s greatest sports fiesta has to present in almost a month of soccer contest.
Moscow and other venues are sparkling after a multi-billion dollar makeover, and the Russians are ready to give it all their best to make players and spectators feel comfortable and enjoy the show.
Nigerian football fans of course here in Russia and no doubt back home are hoping for the best for their national team that found itself in a difficult featuring familiar foes Argentina, Croatioa and Iceland. The Super Eagles will open their account on Saturday and it remained to be seen what picture coach Gernot Rohr and his wards will be painting for the rest of the tournament, when they play Croatia.
However, today’s match will be between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia. It is a game of two teams who have little profile in the FIFA World rankings, Russia is the lowest ranked team in the tournament. The other game of the day is between Uruguay and Egypt who will be playing without their telisman Mohammed Salah, who was injured during a champions league game between his club Liverpool and Real Madrid.
The pressure will be on Russia to top group A and advance to the knockout round and in so doing keep the world cup excitement burning among the home fans. Perhaps they can avoid joining South Africa as the hosts that failed to make it out of the group stages.